By Abir El-Hallak
Facebook is undoubtedly one of the top social media platforms and using it as a business promotional tool can be highly advantageous to your startup and impact positively on its growth and success. Many startups are creating a Facebook business page even before creating their own official website. Let’s examine why.
The what and the how
A Facebook business page is essentially your startup’s Facebook website: “from the features side of things, a Page gives you space to display a company logo, a brand message through a cover photo, description, contact details, and disclaimers. From the marketing side, it allows you to speak to your audience in a uniquely personal way, reach them directly by posting into their social stream, share things that interest them – be it news stories or videos, or more overtly with products or offers” (startups). Here’s a useful link to Facebook’s guidelines on how to set up a Page: https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/set-up-facebook-page
Online search behaviours
Search engines are still the foremost method consumers employ when interested in a product, service or brand: “almost 50% of internet users use them for this reason, compared to 30%-40% who would turn to consumer review sites, price comparison services, social networks or brand websites” (globalwebindex). However, online search behaviours are changing whereby consumers in the 16-24 age group bracket are more likely to use social networks to this end and with Facebook’s new M feature on Messenger, the voice command function and Facebook’s answer to Siri, perhaps social networks will overtake search engines in the future. Either way, an active Facebook page will show up on search engines and lead potential customers in the direction of your business.
As of March 2016, 1.09 billion people log onto Facebook on a daily basis (Zephoria). There is no doubt that Facebook has the capabilities of reaching a massive audience and a Facebook business page has the capacity to provide your startup with a strong “branding outpost on the Web where prospects, customers, future employees, vendors, and even the media can find information about your company and the products and services you offer” (Entrepreneur).
By engaging with this plethora of audiences, your Facebook business page can be an important tool for your startup business and a platform to create posts and content relevant to your product or service via audience participation. “The traditional rule for audience engagement is 80/20. Eighty percent of your content should be for your audience, and 20% should be for your business (sales, marketing, self-promotion, etc.)” (SocialMediaExaminer). Effective ways to engage your audience include giveaways, special and exclusive offers or even running contests. Use the Events App to organise events and promotions and send invitations. Users of this social network fully appreciate the entertainment value it has to offer.
Customer engagement on your Facebook business page will provide your customers and brand advocates with an outlet for interaction, discussion and a location for sharing photos, videos and posts creating a connection with your customers on a social level and subsequently strengthening these relationships and improving customer relations. “Establish strong relationships with a number of influential members who have plenty of connections, and you gain valuable brand evangelists who authentically market and sell on your behalf” (Entrepreneur).
Enrich your startup’s website
Your budding community of followers via Facebook can then be directed without restrictions to your own website which will drastically expand traffic to your site and increase the likelihood of potential customers. Gathering information from this audience, such as e-mail addresses, enables your startup to contact this community directly with helpful information regarding your business, further driving traffic to your website. Customers also have the option to review your business on your Facebook business page. This collection of valuable reviews and testimonials can be used to your startup’s advantage by adding the pick of the bunch to your own website’s testimonial page and result in an upgrade of the value of your business.
The power of a Like
It costs nothing to start a Facebook business page and Facebook ads are relatively inexpensive and reach a much bigger audience. The target ad audience have the option to like your page as well as engage with your advertising objective: “when someone likes your Page, your posts may appear in their News Feed, along with posts from their friends and family, so you can increase awareness of your business and meet new customers” (Facebook).
To Facebook page or not to Facebook page
A Facebook presence is constructive for many reasons, from the positive brand image created when your Facebook page appears in search results to the many channels it offers in terms of customer relations, brand exposure and driving website traffic. At the end of the day it is a quick, easy and cost-effective way for your startup to promote its business. Would your startup benefit from having a Facebook page? Let’s just say that it would hardly put it at a disadvantage so…why not?